fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Maria Gamboa" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 20:00:50 +0100
Subject: DO WE AGREE
Let me start by introducing myself, I am MRS. MARIA CRISTINA GAMBOA, REGIONAL AUDITOR OFFICER BANCO DE ORO UNIVERSAL BANK. I am a top official in charge of client accounts in (EQUITABLE PCI BANK) which is now BANCO DE ORO UNIVERSAL BANK inside the Philippines the merger was in 2007. In 2001, my client was going through a horrendous divorce in the United States of America
and was on the verge of losing most of his estate to his vicious and diabolical wife. As a result of this alarming predicament,
my client came to me with a very brilliant idea. He transferred some funds, to a fixed deposit account in my bank under an alias
which only the two of us knew about as the confidentiality of the matter was necessary for his protection.
Due to his untimely death in early 2002, the funds have been sitting in the account ever since and will continue to do so perpetually unless we do something about it. This is where you come in,my client did not declare any next of kin in his official papers
including the paper work of his bank deposit. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I would like you as a foreigner to
stand as the next of kin to our client so that you will be able to receive his funds. I want you to know that I have had everything
planned out so that we can come out successful.
All that is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your
A. Your complete Name
B. Residential address in your country
C. Scanned copy of your identification
D. Telephone Number
I think this is extremely fair, as you have nothing to lose but just a little time, while on the other hand I am staking my flawless reputation among other things.Once you are the entire transaction should take no longer than
twelve business days after which we will go about our daily business.
I will assume all responsibilities for this endeavour so you don't have to worry about any legal ramifications. Your urgent response is highly
anticipated so please email me through this email address for more details on this transaction as soon as possible.
This should be kept very secret and confidential.
I believe you know.
Maria Cristina Gamboa